Complaints: IS THIS AN OCR COMPLAINT?

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Joanna:  My daughter was diagnosed by an outside licensed diagnostician for Dyslexia while attending a private school. We enrolled her in public in August and the school considered the report but didn’t accept it as her being dyslexic. she is failing because she cannot read on her peer level (4th grade) I requested 504 accommodations and have been denied 4 times. Could I have a case to take a complaints to the OCR?

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4 Comments on "Complaints: IS THIS AN OCR COMPLAINT?"

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Second, have you considered requesting an evaluation for special education eligibility? Many students with dyslexia need modified instruction to be successful in school, and that would be provided by way of an IEP.

You and your evaluators are the best judges for what supports and services will best help your daughter. But do know that IDEA has stronger procedural protections that Section 504, so it’s at least worth considering that route!

Your local parent center can give you more info about the special education process, and your rights and protections under both state and federal law: parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center/.

Joanna –

First, with regard to OCR, their complaint process is generally reserved for procedural issues and instances of discrimination. Educational decisions – like a school’s decision not to evaluate or provide a 504 plan – is not likely to be reviewed through this process (but you can always request that it is).

Section 504 does provide you with other means for resolving disputes. The school must provide you with access to a review/complaint system. You also have a right to an impartial due process hearing.

The school should to provide you with info about these options. If you have trouble getting this info, you can contact OCR for technical assistance.

The school is doing an evaluation currently. However I requested 504 at the beginning of school and they keep on refusing because they will not take the outside evaluation. Because they won’t take the outside eval. to them she isn’t Dyslexic, I have to wait to see what their eval says. You say “you and your evaluators are the best judges”, they are ignoring anything I tell them. they have become the best judge for my daughter. My daughter has failed most of her test these past 9 weeks. The teachers say she is on a second grade reading level and 3rd grade math.

The school must evaluate before they provide supports/services under Section 504. They can elect to accept documentation that you provide to cover some or all areas of that evaluation, but are under no obligation to do so.

The school should have acted to evaluate your daughter when you requested the 504 Plan (like IDEA, Section 504 has a child-find mandate), but it sounds like they did not. You best bet now is to wait until they finish their evaluation, and know that you have dispute resolution options available if you disagree with the plan they propose.

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